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Is It Really Natural With a Texturizer or Silkener?

If I had a dollar for every time I stumbled upon a natural hair debate, I’d be the richest person alive. When it comes to talking kinks and curls the topic that always gets blood boiling and fingers pointing is altering the curl pattern of natural hair.

Just this weekend, I witnessed an all-out battle of the curls on the Miss Jessie’s Facebook Fan Page, when the discussion of chemically altering curls using a silkener was posted on their wall. Here’s the question that got tongues and eyes rolling as shared by Miko and Titi, themselves:

“If I spent all this time to grow out my relaxer to be natural why would I go back to a chemical?”

For those of you who don’t know, a texturizer or silkener is a chemical process that loosens curls, but doesn’t straighten them. The reaction from most of those who commented was once your hair has been chemically altered, your hair is no longer natural.

One commenter said: “Texturizer/silkener = NOT NATURAL.”

Another chimed in with: “This is a time when more women r goin natural and a lot of companies c that and feed off of it....saying how our hair is so difficult to manage so thrw jus a teenie weenie bit of lye in it to ease the pain instead of saying work with ur hair.”

On the other end of the curl spectrum, one person responded: “Personally I'm sick of the attitude that ‘natural’ is better than permed, silkened, relaxed, texturized etc hair. I AM "natural" despite a texturizer to make it more ‘manageable’ for ME. Its aallll natural when it's growing out of your scalp. One method of achieving longer healthier hair is not more superior than the other. #drops Mic and walks off stage.”


Miko and Titi played mediator to the opinions and clarified that a silkener and relaxer are not synonymous, as one commenter stated, saying: “A Silkener and a Relaxer service both use the same active ingredient LYE. The difference between a Silkener and a Relaxer is the application method and the result. A relaxer seeks to make hair straight. A Silkener seeks to redefine frizzy hair into curls. Technically a silkener is not natural. But you can certainly 'look' natural without the work that may be required of "being ‘natural.’“

I’ve been natural for two years, and I personally love my hair the way it is without any chemical treatments. I went natural because of the harm that chemicals caused my hair to experience, and I have no intention of reverting back, even just a little. But, I have plenty of friends with healthy relaxed and texturized hair. It’s a case of different strokes for different folks.

Miko and Titi shared their two cents with this: “I am in total agreement with all of you. Options are all good. Who are we to decide what is right for someone else's head of hair. Who are we to determine what we consider manageable to be for anyone other than ourselves? What may be manageable to one person may be unmanageable to another. And vice versa. We are here to offer choice. It's all about options ladies...”

What’s your take on this natural hair debate? Are you natural if you use a chemical process to loosen, but not straigten your curls?

-Margaret Francois

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The North Face

Ella Mai On The North Face's 'Explore Mode' Campaign, New Music And Living In The Moment

Ella Mai is in her own age of exploration. Her eponymous debut album scored her a platinum plaque with her breakout hit, "Boo'd Up" earning her a Grammy for Best R&B Song. But the accolades aren't driving her creative path. The arc in her compass is all about the places she's traveled, the people she's met and the lessons learned along the way.

"To be honest, personally, exploration is like growth. I feel like if you don't explore new things, whether it's going outside, meeting people or trying new food, you won't ever grow because you're just stuck in your little comfort zone which can be super scary to come out of," she tells VIBE at The North Face's Explore Mode event in New York on Monday (April 15). The singer is one of three women (including model-activist Gabrielle Richardson and chef Angela Dimayuga) who teamed up with the brand to share a message of enjoying the outside world without digital confinement and the global initiative to make Earth Day a national holiday.

The London native's urge to explore came in handy over the weekend when she performed in the brisk desert of Coachella. Inspired by artists like Rihanna and Ms. Lauryn Hill, Mai helped fans enjoy the hazy sunset as she performed hits like "Trip" and her latest No. 1 song, "Shot Clock."

"It's such a good feeling, especially when it comes to radio," she shared about her track reaching No. 1 on the airplay chart. "I wasn't even sure if people listened to the radio because people have so much access to streaming platforms, but obviously having all three of my singles from my debut album, go number one on urban radio is incredible."

That energy was brought to the Coachella stage with the festival being her biggest artistic exploration so far.

"My favorite part of the performance would have to be when I performed "Naked" and because it was dark, and I performed when the sun went down, I couldn't see how far the crowd actually went back. But during "Naked," it was such an intimate moment I asked everyone to put their lights up (phones) and when I saw how far it went back I was like, "Woah." That moment sealed it for me."

"Even there were two people in the audience, I still would've done my best," she added. "But just to see the crowd be so engaged, even if they didn't know the music, was a really good feeling. I had so much fun."

As the festival energy in Indio, Calif. continued to thrive, another rested on the streets of Los Angeles following the loss of Nipsey Hussle. With the singer having ties to those close to the rapper like DJ Mustard, she says the shift in the city was hard to ignore.

"As weird as it sounds, you felt it," she said. "Even in the weather, it was super hot and then everyone got the news and it started raining. Just a weird energy shift." As a new L.A. resident, the singer says Nipsey's influence cannot be denied.

"I feel like the energy shift went both ways; everyone was really sad, grieving and mourning but everyone feels more inspired by what he was doing that they want to go out and do something and change in their community. It's still a very touchy subject in L.A., especially the people that I'm around since they were very close to him. I think everyone is super inspired to do better and try to be more like him, which is great to see. YG's whole set at Coachella was dedicated to him, I know Khalid had a dedication to Mac Miller. Everyone is super aware of what Nipsey was trying to do and how he wanted to change the world."

Engaging in The North Face's mission to explore seemed to be in the cards for Mai. Like many of us, Mai was familiar with the brand's effective coolness factor. "I remember running home and telling my mom that I needed a Jester Backpack because my cousin had one as well, and it's similar to the other stories, I wanted to be like my older cousin (laughs) so my mom ended up getting me one." But there's also the incentive to showcase the importance of stepping away from the phone screens and into leafy green forests.

"I'm such a live-in-the-moment person," she says of her lack of identity on social media. While she might share a thought or two on social media, Mai is interested in appreciating the world around her. "I feel like everyone is so consumed about documenting the day, you don't really get to live the day. You just watch it back but I like to have the memories in my head. Of course, sometimes, I'll take out my phone but I try to live in the moment as much as possible."

Part of that mission is ensuring Earth Day is celebrated the right way. With the support of Mai, Richardson, and Dimayuga, The North Face officially launched a petition to make Earth Day a national holiday.

“The North Face is no stranger to exploration and this Earth Day we are proud to join our partners and fellow explorers in a global effort to make Earth Day a national holiday,” said Global General Manager of Lifestyle at The North Face, Tim Bantle. “We believe that when people take time to appreciate the Earth, they feel more connected to it and are more likely to protect it. Explore Mode urges us to unplug from our digital lives to connect in real life to the world, each other, and ourselves in the effort to move the world forward.”

Mai hasn't hit her all of her exploration goals just yet. "I really want to go to Indonesia or Bali," she said. "That's one of my Bucket List places I really, really, really wanna go." For her essentials, the singer knows she has to bring along a windbreaker set and of course, a jester backpack. "I think the backpack is the most important thing."

In addition to a few trips around the globe, one destination includes the studio for new music. While she hasn't had time to lock down a moment to record, the inspiration is sizzling.

"When I work in the studio, I like to be like there for a good amount of time," she explains. "I like to block off two to three weeks at a time, I don't like to go to different studios and different places, it's just a comfort thing but I'm very excited to get back cause I have a lot of talk about. I've seen so many different places and met so many new people and a lot that I didn't get to experience last year."

Learn more about The North Face's petition for Earth Day here.

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Mike Windle/Getty Images for McWraps

Tatyana Ali Shares She’s Pregnant With Second Child

A new bundle of joy is on the way for actress Tatyana Ali and her husband Dr. Vaughn Rasberry. On Saturday (April 13), The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star shared the news on Instagram, posting a picture of her baby bump and an excited caption.

“I was on a work trip recently and I thought it was about time I captured my baby bump,” she wrote. “We’re so excited! They say every pregnancy is different and they ain’t lying. Phew! I’m exhausted this go round, swirling with emotion and starving, like constantly. Feeling very blessed.”

 

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I was on a work trip recently and I thought it was about time I captured my baby bump. We’re so excited! They say every pregnancy is different and they ain’t lying. Phew! I’m exhausted this go round, swirling with emotion and starving, like constantly. Feeling very blessed. #BabyRasberry

A post shared by Tatyana Ali (@tatyanaali) on Apr 13, 2019 at 7:52am PDT

 

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“Who are you calling?” I asked. He said, “the baby in Mama’s tummy”- Already in cahoots.

A post shared by Tatyana Ali (@tatyanaali) on Apr 14, 2019 at 6:47am PDT

In 2017, Ali and Rasberry had their first child, Edward, who arrived a year after the pair wed in July 2016. In an interview with Parents, Ali described her method to parenting, which she picked up from her mother and father.

“I’m more laid-back than I thought I’d be,” Ali said. “My dad was like this with me and my two sisters. While my mom was stricter, he said, ‘If you teach them everything they need to know, they’ll be prepared and figure things out.’”

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Actor Michael B. Jordan backstage at the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
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Michael B. Jordan Would Like To Be Considered For B2K's Millennium Tour

Michael B. Jordan loves nostalgia. From the 90s and beyond, the actor has always shown love to those who helped create our favorite music memories. Now, Jordan is looking to throw his hat in the running for B2K's Millenium Tour.

The actor shared a hilarious video of himself, Terrance J and Ridiculousness' Steelo Brim jamming to Diddy's "I Need A Girl Remix" this week on Twitter with the caption, "Is there any more room on the Millennium Tour?" Fans of the 2000s hip-hip/R&B era are aware the jam was released in 2002 from Diddy's LP, We Invented The Remix.

https://twitter.com/michaelb4jordan/status/1116092812787953665

We're sure B2K, Mario, Pretty Ricky, Lloyd and the rest of the family wouldn't mind having Killmonger on the road with them. Meanwhile, the guys have brought out several special guests on the Millennium Tour. So far, surprise performances have included Ashanti, Ja Rule, Bow Wow and B5.

Enjoy "I Need A Girl Part 2" below.

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